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Unpaid arrears: Benue pensioners give Ortom 7-day ultimatum

The Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP) in Benue state on Thursday gave Governor Samuel Ortom a seven-day ultimatum over non-payment of their gratuities and harmonisation of pensions.

In a letter addressed to the governor and signed by the NUP Chairman, Peter Kyado and Secretary, Comrade Joseph Adakole, the pensioners stated that they would commence another round of peaceful protest if the government fails to meet their demand before the due date.

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“Given the fact that our demands are legitimate and in accordance with the provisions of 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended as well as other National and International labour laws, we wish to humbly request your Excellency to positively respond within seven days beginning from 10th -16th of January, 2019, failing which we shall resume the suspended protest march continuously until our demands are met,” the letter stated.

The concerned pensioners also highlighted among other issues, the payment of 14 months arrears of pension to the state pensioners and between 14-74 months to local government pensioners.

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Also, they demanded a reversal of the stoppage of peace meal and selective payment of gratuities instead of “first retired, first paid” and stoppage of factional payment of pension to local government pensioners instead of paying all across the board at once.

The letter also requested the payment of monthly pension to all state pensioners across the board at any given time instead of the current system of alternating payment between Makurdi and outstations pensioners in rotation as it stressed that the method was a divide and rule ploy which creates bad blood among pensioners.

Meanwhile, they appreciated what the letter described as the governor’s positive response to only a couple of their demands which included, the e-payment of pension and payment of pension to the local government pensioners who were recently captured, adding that the rest of their demands are yet to receive the desired response.

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